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Congress Theatre Chicago

The Congress Theatre Chicago began its long life as a luxurious movie palace.

Built in 1925 by Fridstein & Co, for the Lubliner & Trinz moviehouse chain, the Congress Theatre Chicago focused primarily on screening the newest Hollywood hits, the theater was also used for magic, vaudeville, and burlesque shows. Surprisingly, the Congress Theatre Chicago continued to screen films all the way through the 1980s. Then in the 1990s, theatre management began to transition the theatre into primarily a performing arts venue for Shows In Chicago.

Congress Theatre Chicago

Located at 2135 North Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago, IL 60647, The Congress Theatre Chicago continues to provide entertainment to the Bucktown and Logan Square neighborhoods, and to residents throughout the city. With a 3,500 person capacity, the Congress hosts national touring musicians, local music, music festivals like the Chicago Bluegrass & Blues fest and Riot Fest, as well as programing occasional film screenings, professional wrestling, and live theatre. The Congress Theatre Chicago complex also houses an art gallery, furnished apartments for long and short term rental, a gastropub, and a lounge.

In 1996, the Chicago Historic Resources Survey awarded the Congress Theatre “Landmark Status,” indicating that it “possesses potentially significant architectural or historical features.” In 2000, the building was threatened with demolition to make way for condos, but the surrounding community rallied to support the ornate Classical Revival styled theatre. The National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Theatre Historical Society of America, have both also recognized the building for its architectural significance. It has been a host of many activities for Chicagoans in the past.

The Congress Theatre Chicago has seen a lot of musical history, presenting a range of renowned acts like Prince, the Beastie Boys, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Weezer. The official Congress Theatre Website is here: It features similar acts to House Of Blues Chicago and can be considered a significant asset to today’s Chicago music scene, as it is the only independently owned and operated venue of its size. This not only supports local independant musicians but is also a means for local promoters work in a large non-corporate venue. For audiences, the Congress Theatre Chicago provides an opportunity to see national and local acts in a beautiful historic setting.

If you are interested in finding more rock shows click here for our Chicago Events Calendar.

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